September & October Empties 2017

Yep, I did it again… I left my empties to build up over two months. Damn, I really should have learnt from my mistakes! Either way, here I am with a mountain of products to get through so i’m going to cut to the chase and get started!

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  • Wilko’s Dry Shampoo – just as good, if not better, than brands like Batiste but for only £1 a can. I use the one for all hair types but there’s also fragranced, volume and brunette varieties up for grabs! I will continue to keep buying this but I’m contemplating trying a fragranced one next time too!
  • Mark Hill MiracOILous Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner minis – these came in a set from Christmas last year and I used them up whilst travelling. I actually quite liked them and they worked well with my hair. I wouldn’t say no to buying them again and the 50ml sizes were ideal!
  • Kérastase Lait Vital – this is the conditioner from the nutritive range and it’s okay. I personally like something a bit more heavy duty for my hair so this wasn’t really worth it for the price for me at £18.50. The mask is definitely better than this so I would buy that again instead. However if you don’t need something so nourishing then this may be suitable for finer hair!

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Not a category i’ve ever had before but I had two products so thought why not. The first one is something I’ve had for a VERY long time and that’s the No 7 Makeup Brush Cleanser. It comes in a pump dispenser and it’s really handy for spot cleaning or wiping down products. I really like it actually and I would consider buying it again although I do fancy trying the MAC one out too! The second product is the Sephora Solid Brush Cleaner and I absolutely love this. I bought a replacement when I was last in the states and I find that this works wonders at deep cleaning my brushes and it also does a great job on my beauty blender too!

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  • The Body Shop Spiced Apple Shower Gel – I’m sad to say that I believe this was the last bottle I’d hoarded away in my collection. However, I think this might actually be back in stores for this year so I will be heading off to replenish my shelves any day now thank God!
  • Baylis & Harding Sweet Mandarin and Grapefruit Luxury Body Wash – How anyone can call this luxury is beyond me. Possibly the worst body wash i’ve ever used, the texture was like someone had watered down a regular shower gel and there was absolutely zero scent to it. Never buying this again in a million years.
  • Aveda Stress-fix Body Lotion – there’s still actually product left in this but I hate the smell so much I can’t use it. It’s very strongly lavender based and it lingers for ages on the skin. From what I did use, a little does go a long way so if you like lavender then this may be for you but it’s 100% not for me.
  • Dove Invisible Dry Deodorant – An old faithful that I will keep repurchasing in between my attempts at branching out to other contenders.
  • L’Occitane Amande Hand Cream – firstly, my sleepy brain has included this in the ‘makeup photo’ oops! This is my favourite hand cream ever and I can’t think how many tubes i’ve been through. I would seriously cry if this was ever discontinued! I think I have at least two back ups but this always gets repurchased.
  • J’Adore Dior Edp 30ml – This is probably my favourite perfume ever and I was honestly so sad that it ran out. With Christmas coming up, i’m not going to replace it myself but it will be top of my list this year. My Grandad loves buying us perfume so i’m sure he’ll be chuffed to go along to Boots to pick this up (seriously his Boots points are off the scale after buying for us all!!).

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  • Avril Cosmetiques Cleansing Oil – I’ve written a whole post on Avril here, but to keep it brief, this is a nice light cleansing oil that gets every last scrap of makeup off with minimal effort. I liked that it was scent free and didn’t leave a residue on the skin, definitely a product to consider if you like natural products!
  • Figs & Rouge Hydra Active Smart Nutrient Day Cream – I’m pretty sure I was given this by a fellow blogger to try and sadly I didn’t really like it. To say this retails for £28 full size (50ml) this felt like that Diprobase cream you’re given when you have eczema! It was really greasy and even smelt the same and even though my skin can be quite dehydrated, this was wayyyy too much! Quite glad to see this go to be honest!
  • Neutrogena Visibly Clear Spot Clearing Facial Wash – This was quite handy just to have in the shower when you wanted to quickly wash your face, especially with the pump dispenser. I didn’t really find it kept my skin any clearer but it was a cheap and cheerful product. My brother actually ended up using it and he’s 16 so maybe he’s more the target market for it. Not bad but I don’t think i’d buy it again.
  • Sanctuary Spa Ultimate Cleansing Oil – As cleansing oils go, this was not too bad although it had a bit of a weird smell that I wasn’t a fan of. It did the job of removing my makeup but not as well as other cleansing oils so I probably wouldn’t pick up the full size.
  • Lancôme Hydra Zen Moisturiser – I really really loved this product and the night cream that was featured in my last empties. However, they are so bloody expensive that I just don’t know whether I can justify it! They really did work well with my skin though so now that i’m working, perhaps I just need to suck it up and buy them!

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  • Too Faced Hangover Face Primer – I had seriously high hopes for this primer after everyone and their mother went on and on about it. For me though, it was just like adding another moisturiser to my face and it didn’t really do much ‘priming’. It left my face feeling hydrated so maybe that’s why they’ve likened it to a hangover cure as it did give my skin a boost when it felt dehydrated. However, I don’t think it kept my makeup on any longer nor did it make it apply any better so I don’t think i’ll be repurchasing this again any time soon.
  • L’oreal Paradise Extatic Mascara – I had actually planned to do a whole review of this mascara but with starting work, it’s actually dried up before I got the chance! This has been hyped up by just about every blogger going and it is actually a pretty good mascara. It has a slightly curved wand with proper bristles rather than plastic and it coats the lashes really well. The one thing I found though was that the formula was quite dry so it had the potential to make things quite clumpy! For under £10 I would definitely use this again, it’s not become my new favourite but it’s definitely not bad either! DSCF0598
  • Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray – I love this setting spray and I will always go back and pick up more bottles as it does such a good job of keeping things in place. I’m trying out and finishing off a few others at the moment but there will no doubt be another bottle of this in rotation some time soon!
  • Benefit Porefessional Primer – I’ve had so many of these samples and I’ve never really found myself raving about it. For me it clings to dry patches and things can start looking a bit cakey and crusty very quickly. I recently received some of the new version of the Porefessional though which has a more hydrating base so I’m hoping that’s more suitable for my skin type! I’ll report back on that one!
  • EOS Strawberry Lip Balm – I liked the actual formula of the balm with this and it was handy to carry around on the go, however the shape of it was a little bit annoying and gradually got harder and harder to use as time went on. I have about a million lip balms to finish off so I can’t see myself replacing this any time soon.
  • Covergirl Outlast All Day Concealer – I picked this up on my trip to the States in April and I was pleasantly surprised. It was hydrating and easy to blend yet delivered a good amount of coverage too! If you can get your hands on this then give it a try as it’s surprisingly very good! The only thing I don’t like is the sponge applicator but overall I was pretty happy with it!

If you’ve made it to the end, I salute you! These posts always take the longest to write but I love reading them myself as you get mini reviews of lots of different products! Let me know what you’ve finished off recently and whether you’ve tried any of the products i’ve mentioned!

Much Love

xoxo

 

Rimmel London’s New Lasting Finish Breathable Foundation!

Hello Everyone! Long time no speak! I’ve finally found some time to get back to writing a blog post and I thought I’d share my thoughts on the latest Rimmel foundation. Regular readers will probably already know that Rimmel is my favourite affordable makeup brand, with their Match Perfection foundation being one of my favourites ever!

So when Influenster invited me to take part in their latest VoxBox campaign featuring the one and only Rimmel, I jumped at the chance! The main aim of the box is to review their new foundation*. It’s an adaptation of their popular Lasting Finish formula but with a more breathable and hydrating finish. I quite like the regular Lasting Finish formula so I had pretty high hopes for the new breathable one before I even tried it!

The bottle is almost identical to the regular packaging, except it has a silver colour scheme rather than red. The main packaging difference though is that rather than a pump, the breathable formula has a large doe-foot applicator! To be honest, this is the main thing I don’t actually like about this foundation as it feels quite unhygienic! If like me, you have quite spot prone skin, then applying foundation with an applicator directly onto problem areas can help it to spread. You then obviously have to put the applicator back into the bottle to shut the lid so to me it seems a bit dirty! Imagine all the bacteria being locked in the bottle to fester until the next use. For me, this is a big no no! IMG_0211

The actual formula though is really nice! It’s lightweight, yet medium in coverage. It sets to a nice satin finish and blends really well. There are 17 shades to choose from and they vary in tone from yellow toned to pink toned. I matched to shade 103 and it’s a pretty good winter shade for my skin tone. I would say that this is a lighter coverage than the regular Lasting Finish formula though and I wouldn’t have personally marketed them as from the same formula base as they are so different. They do both claim to have ’25 hour wear’ which I always find pretty ridiculous as no-one would ever keep foundation on their face for that long and expect it to live to tell the tale! It lasts reasonably well throughout the day in my opinion. I’ve definitely had worse but i’ve also had better resilience for other brands’ formulas.

Along with the foundation, Rimmel launched a matching concealer* in the range. It claims to be the perfect partner for the foundation and has a medium coverage. Again, for me, Rimmel have really shot themselves in the foot with the packaging here. The applicator is a ball shaped sponge which is neither good at blending nor hygienic! It’s a very firm sponge tip that I found to be quite uncomfortable under the eyes! There is no way anyone can actually blend the concealer in with this so it’s actually pretty useless. When I use it, I just dispense it straight onto a brush to avoid any unwanted bacteria lingering on the product.

Like with the foundation, the formula is actually quite nice. Very lightweight feeling, easily blended and quite runny in consistency. I would personally like a little more coverage from a concealer and I haven’t actually reached for this as much as I thought I would. It’s quite a nice product if you have minimal touch ups to do after your foundation, but for me, I need a bit more!

The next item in the box is actually a product that has been available for a while now but has been something I’ve wanted to buy for a while now. It’s the Kate Sculpting Palette* in the shade Coral Glow. Inside there are three powder shades, one to highlight, one to contour/bronze and one blush shade. I really liked the idea of having three shades in one palettes as it’s really travel friendly as the packaging is so slim. The contour and blush shades I absolutely love but the highlighter is very underwhelming. If like me you like a ‘proper highlight’ then this is not it. It’s not very shimmery and doesn’t show up very well on the skin. As I mentioned though, the blush and contour shades are pretty damn good. The powder blends well, is nicely pigmented and works well with fair to medium skin tones. The contour shade is cool enough to add shadow, but is warm enough that it could double up as a bronzer too. The blusher is very similar to NARS Orgasm or Benefit Coralista and those are the blush shades I always seem to gravitate towards! IMG_0207.jpg

My only gripe with this product is how thin the pans are. If, like me, you lean towards large fluffy brushes when applying face powders then you’ll find this quite a challenge. I had to be incredibly precise when dipping my brush into the palette as the space between the pans was incredibly small. Overall not a bad product for the price though, I personally think that £6.99 is quite a bargain!

The final product included in the box was one of their Moisture Renew Lipsticks* in the shade Vintage Pink. Ironically I only own one of these lipsticks and it’s in this shade so I will be passing this on to a friend to enjoy! I absolutely love the colour of this lipstick as it’s a slightly purple toned nude and looks lovely on the lips! The actual formula is very hydrating and glides on nice and smoothly. They are highly pigmented and very comfortable to wear. I would liken them to MAC’s creamsheen finishes so you would need to reapply this throughout the day as it does wear off quicker than say a matte would.  These retail for £6.49 and I do feel you are getting a much higher quality here than you would expect from the price!

Overall I would say it was a nice selection of items. I got to try things that i’d been after for a while and some new ones too. I feel like the packaging let down 3 out of four of the items as it just wasn’t well thought out. Yes Rimmel is a more affordable brand and it’s the product inside that matters, but if you are experimenting with packaging to make the product more appealing, then a bit of research into whether it’s a good idea probably wouldn’t have gone amiss! I will continue to use the products as I do love the brand and think they formulate things well in general but I feel like a few tweaks are needed if they want them to be real hits with the masses!

Have you tried any of these products? If so what did you think of them?

Much Love

xoxo

*Received free of charge from Influenster in exchange for a review.

 

 

The Travel Diaries| Brighton August 2017 With Brighton Getaways!

Over bank holiday weekend last month, Tom and I were invited down to Brighton by the guys at Brighton Getaways to test out one of their apartments. Having never been to Brighton, we jumped at the chance and hopped in the car for a mini break. We were completely lucky with the weather during the two days we were there as it was the mini bank holiday heatwave and it was glorious!

We set off bright and early on the Monday morning to make sure we got a full day in, so we arrived in Brighton at about 10 am and decided to have breakfast in a little cafe and do some wandering. At around midday, we were able to head to the apartment to check in and see where we’d be staying. We were actually given the Artists Studio*  which was walking distance to everything we wanted to see and was located in the North Laines. It was very quirky, with a huge graffiti style mural along one wall, yet it had a really cosy feel about it.IMG_0058 Being a studio, it was on the smaller side and was based around one main room, however we felt like we had plenty of space and were really comfortable throughout. The studio also had a kitchenette, free wifi and a really nice shower ‘pod’ type set up which I really liked!

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This was the shower ‘pod’ that was in our room!

If we stayed in Brighton again, which we have said we’d like to, we’d definitely look at the rentals available on Brighton Getaways as ours completely fit what we needed and was spotlessly clean and very well located. The two guys I spoke to with regards to booking and checking in were really friendly and helpful too which was lovely!

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Shopping in the North Laines

With only a short period of time in Brighton, we decided to check out the pier as that’s a must-see tourist attraction. It has very typical ‘British holiday’ vibes to it but to be honest, I really loved it. We watched all the fair ground rides and had a look at the amusement arcades and generally just soaked up the atmosphere. There was so much going on and as it was bank holiday Monday and beautiful weather, it was absolutely packed! It didn’t feel too crowded though and I really liked that.

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The view from the Pier

One thing I didn’t expect was how beautiful the beach would be. The sea was so clear and really made us feel we were on holiday abroad rather than in the UK. There was such a buzz along the front with performers and holiday goers and plenty of shops for a quick ice cream break. I wish we’d been able to take JJ with us this time as he would have loved it all! IMG_0050.jpg

One thing I said I wanted to see was the Choccywoccydoodah shop as I’ve spent many hours watching that show and the displays always blow my mind. Needless to say it was just as good as i’d imagined and I loved being able to actually see them in person rather than just on the TV. The Laines are such an unusual way to shop and we loved wandering around them and seeing the independent stores that they held. It had such a nice vibe to it and it felt very very inclusive as a town, no matter who you were.

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Possibly my favourite Graffiti EVER.

Right near our accommodation was the Pavilion Gardens and the Royal Pavilion inside was really beautiful. It almost felt like a temple rather than a pavilion and I hadn’t expected to find that just round the corner at all. It seemed like a really popular place to picnic or stop and have a chat and I wish we had something similar near us as it was such an unusual building!

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Royal Pavilion

In the evening, Tom being the foodie that he is, has sussed out a place to eat that promised to be pretty special. Its a restaurant called 64 degrees and is run by someone from Master Chef I believe. It’s won plenty of awards and is considered the best restaurant in Brighton. It serves small plates that promise big flavour and the general experience we had was unlike any other restaurant i’ve ever been to. We were actually seated on the pass so we got a great view of all the cooking and each component that went into every dish.

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This was how close we were actually sat, no zoom needed!

The menus change regularly dependant on what’s in season and what produce they could get hold of. My favourite thing I had was probably either the Lasagnette or the Rum Bear. The first, being a deconstructed veggie lasagna that was simply incredible and the latter was their equivalent of a Haribo bear but with lots of rum and their own sherbet. It was amazing!

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That Rum Bear!

It was a very whistle stop trip to Brighton, but we had such a lovely time and I know we’d both love to return. A huge thank you to the guys at Brighton Getaways for giving us the chance to see such a lovely town and putting us up in such perfect accommodation. I’m sure it won’t be long before we’re back!

Much Love

xoxo

*Accommodation provided for PR purposes. All other things mentioned in this post were paid for entirely by ourselves.

All You Need To Know About MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid & Face & Body Foundations!

I seem to have acquired a fair few new foundations recently and it’s taking me a bit of time to get round to writing up reviews on them all. Today i’m going to combine two new MAC ones i’ve picked up to see if I can help you determine the formula for you! The two I’ve got my hands on are Studio Fix Fluid and Face & Body. Studio Fix Fluid is an old favourite of mine that i’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with over the years and Face & Body is a new addition that i’ve always wanted to try.

Starting with Studio Fix Fluid, this is one of the most full coverage foundations I own without being heavy on the skin. When I wear this, I feel like i’m having a good skin day, everyday! This one retails for £23.50 for 30ml and doesn’t include a pump to dispense the product, that’s an additional £4.50 making the whole product £28 if you don’t want to smack the bottle on the back of your hand every day. I feel like MAC are really taking the piss a bit with this on as charging that much for a pump is extortionate. I know they say it’s a one time purchase as you move it onto your next bottle, however the one time I did buy one, it broke before my bottle was over.

In true MAC fashion, there are a whopping 46 shades available in this formula which I think is brilliant. They have definitely added lighter shades in recent years and I assume they’ve expanded their darker shades too as there are some really deep ones available now. They also differentiate between undertones too which I love as I’m very yellow toned and hate when the right shade for me has pink undertones to it. In MAC shades, the letter C has yellower undertones and W represents the pink toned shades. In addition to that, they go up in number order with 10 being the lightest. They do make the shades a little confusing though as I always thought they simply went up in multiples of five e.g NC10, 15, 20 etc and that the numbers were applicable regardless of your undertone (C or W).  However, there are certain numbers available in one undertone and not the other. For example there is an NW18 and an NW13 but neither or these are available in NC.

To be honest, I’m quite straight forward, I like a yellow undertone so head to the NC’s and I’m fairly light so I pick NC20 in the summer and NC15 in the winter. Simple. However, I would strongly recommend getting colour matched as I don’t think it’s very straightforward as a general system. The one thing I would also say though is that make sure you are really happy with your match before you leave the shop, i’ve been matched terribly in the past and that caused me to dislike this foundation for a while when it was actually just the shade.

Shade battle aside and onto the actual formula. As I mentioned, it’s a fuller coverage foundation that offers a natural matte finish. I would totally agree with this as I find I really don’t get oily at all when I wear this. It doesn’t make me look flat but it does let a little glow through which I love. I’d probably say it’s a satin finish personally. I find that this does set into place but not so much that you can’t apply more layers or touch up should you wish. For me, this is one of the most easy to apply and perfectly blendable foundations i’ve tried. I find it just works seamlessly with my skin and now i’m more confident on my shades, I’m determined to make sure I always have a bottle of this on the go. Yes there are a few gripes such as the pump and a slightly clearer shade range however, the actual formula performs impeccably and gives me so much confidence in my skin that i’ve really been lacking over the years. Every time I wear this, someone asks about my foundation and/or skin and that gives me such a boost as i’ve struggled with my skin a lot the last few years!

On to Face & Body and this is a much lighter foundation and is a totally different price point to Studio Fix! This retails for only £29.50 for a huge 120ml and you don’t need to buy a pump. If you include the cost of the pump, on a ml by ml basis, Studio Fix is about 94p per ml whereas Face & Body is about 25p. That’s a huge huge difference right from the get go! To be honest, apart from them being from MAC, that’s about the only similarity of these two formulas as F&B is the total other end of the coverage spectrum! If i’m honest, i’ve had more coverage from a tinted moisturiser or BB cream! This is one of the lightest coverage foundations i’ve ever tried and I would have to be having an epically good skin day to be able to wear this alone.

It’s again, very blendable but it does pretty much blend into nothing. The formulation is very liquid and the bottle is a plastic bottle rather than glass. MAC says that this is light-medium coverage that is buildable, but for me to get this to work, I would have to have about 10 layers on to feel like it had concealed what I wanted it to. It’s said to be moisturizing and long-lasting though so if you have drier skin and want something very natural then this could be for you. I’ve yet to be able to wear this on it’s own as I felt like I looked like I didn’t have anything on sadly.

I want to keep playing with this product though as it’s a really holy grail for many bloggers and I want to know why and how! Whilst i’m still discovering how to get it to work for me, I’ve been mixing it in with my Studio Fix to sheer down the coverage a little for days when I don’t want to be quite so full on! It’s also a touch lighter shade wise than my Studio Fix so now that i’m not far off my Winter skin colour, it’s helping make the transition easier! I’ve really been enjoying using it in that way as it is more moisturising so helps with the slight drier patches i’m starting to get now we’re heading towards Autumn.

Compared to Studio Fix, F&B has a pretty poor selection of only 11 shades available which I find pretty damn strange, especially as one is a white mixer shade so really, there’s only 10! The shades are again rather confusing to decipher with there being both C and N shades available, but this time the numbers seem to run from 1 to 6, but again both letters don’t necessarily have the same numbers available. I wish MAC would make it easier for us!

I feel like although this is an okay shade for me, there probably is a better shade in the range. This one was kindly inherited from Sophie so I didn’t pick the shade myself. I get the impression that again the C shades are more yellow toned so I think perhaps C2 rather than N2 (which is the one I have) would have been best for me! Saying that, it’s probably fairly clear I’m not a huge fan of this formula though so I can’t see myself buying a bottle in a different shade any time soon.

I quite fancy trying out some of MAC’s other foundations as I don’t hear much about some of the others! The one’s I fancy are the Studio Sculpt, as I think this will be like Studio Fix but more hydrating for winter, and I also quite fancy the Studio Waterweight as I think that could be a slightly more accessible version of the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea foundation that I love! Have you tried either of these foundations or any MAC foundations for that matter? Which one is your favourite and why?

Much Love

xoxo

A Date With Lora & Boo Burger Leicester!

I’m going to put it out there and say it, I’m not a huge fast food or burger fan. However, I’m a firm believer that if someone goes out of their way to offer you something you should do your best to try it and with an open mind at that! With all that in mind, when I was invited to try out Boo Burger in Leicester I was quite intrigued as they branded themselves as a ‘premium fast food’ restaurant, a niche i’d never come across before really. I told Lora she was being my date for the night and I drove us to Leicester to see what they had to offer.

It had been a long time since I’d ventured to Leicester so it was lovely to be back in the city. I actually spent many days debating over whether to go to uni there as I really loved the feel of it! Boo burger is on London Road in Leicester so is surrounded by other eateries but it definitely stands out. As soon as I saw it, it definitely felt more premium than your ‘regular’ fast food places and the design and layout inside was very modern and contemporary.

IMG_4043_Fotor.jpgWe were greeted by absolutely lovely servers, who were only too happy to help. Now Lora and I are boring Grandmas who love a bit of plain food so I had a veggie Halloumi burger in a plain brioche bun and Lora had the same but chicken. I have to say, they weren’t stingy with the halloumi and it was so so nice to have ‘posh’ brioche buns rather than those terrible burger buns you normally see at fast food outlets. I liked how you were able to customise your food and pick and choose what you wanted to add or take away to make sure it was exactly how you liked it! Wanting to sample more of the menu, we also each had a milkshake and some of their chips.

IMG_4048Lets just take some time to appreciate the beauty that was those milkshakes. Oh my goodness, the vanilla one I had was to die for and was probably one of the best shakes i’ve had in years. It almost tasted like not fully melted ice cream and was delicious. Lora opted for the strawberry variety and we were both seriously impressed. They also came in really cute branded cups that was just a really lovely touch. Staying on the topic of drinks, Boo really catered for the people (like me) who don’t usually go to fast food restaurants as the cans they sold were San Pellegrino. This was a real surprise for me but a very very welcome one as I love San Pellegrino’s as they feel a little more luxurious than a can of Coke or Fanta!

IMG_4038The final delight, that i’ve yet to mention, was their amazing chips. I don’t think I can explain in writing quite how tasty those chips were. They were like a cross between skin on fries and chunky chips and they were perfectly seasoned and had just the right ratio of crispy coating to soft fluffy potato. I actually wish I lived closer so that I could nip and get some of these and a milkshake more regularly. To be honest, it’s probably a good thing for my waistline that I don’t!

Thanks again to the guys at Boo for looking after Lora and I. It was so nice to have a girly catch up with my blogger bae and just chill. If you’re in the area, definitely check out Boo Burger as they really are a lovely little place and even burger haters like me will find something they like! It was lovely to have us veggies catered for so well too and the halloumi was delish! Definitely check out their instagram as they have some seriously drool worthy pictures that are guaranteed to give you the munchies! Have you tried Boo Burger yet?

Much Love

xoxo

*Complimentary meal given for PR

Review: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation!

Tarte is a brand that I had been lusting over for years, but living in the UK, it’s pretty hard to come by. I know the QVC sell it, but only really in sets rather than individual items, so when I was in the US, I made sure I tried a good few products out in Sephora to see if any of them took my fancy. One that really interested me was the Rainforest of the Sea Foundation, but I didn’t want to jump into anything so took a sample home to see if I liked it.

I guess this is a bit of a spoiler for the rest of the blog post, as it’s clear to see that I did really like it, enough to track down the full size bottle. Now Tarte do ship to the UK, but unlike Colour Pop & Kylie, the tax and duties are clearly visible and more importantly, payable when placing your order. This means you don’t get any of that sneaky £10 Royal Mail ‘Holding Fee’ bumping up the charges. When I went to order, they were having a discount day, basically meaning that the amount of discount I received, covered the tax on the foundation so it was pretty handy!

The first thing to comment on with this foundation really, is the sheer liquidity of it. It’s a very watery consistency and is a lot thinner than any other foundation I’ve ever tried. It is described as a lightweight, full coverage foundation that contains a non-chemical, broad spectrum SPF 15. In my opinion, it is definitely light weight and has very good coverage. I would probably say medium or medium to full rather than simply full coverage, from my own experiences with the foundation. For me that’s good though as I’m really not a huge fan of very full coverage bases.

tarte-foundation-reviewUnlike many foundation formulas, this one is water based, rather than oil based which would definitely explain it’s consistency. The product is actually 20% water which aims to help quench dry skin and give it a boost of hydration for up to 12 hours. Due to it’s consistency, the applicator for this foundation is actually a dropper rather than a pump, which I’m not 100% sure that I’m a fan of. It’s a little bit of a faff, mainly for the second collection of product should you need one, as it can get a bit messy and then you’re desperately trying to get more product with half of it all over your hands. I do think it’s right for this foundation, however I’m not sure whether I like actually using it myself.

From first use of this foundation, I felt like my skin looked absolutely flawless but in no way masked or cakey. It doesn’t cling to dry patches or fade throughout the day; it doesn’t get oily or greasy and it seems to just blur imperfections whilst still looking like skin. Whatever the magic ‘Rainforest of the Sea Complex’ is, it’s clearly pretty damn good! It does come at a bit of a price though as a standard 30ml bottle of this will set you back £30 before shipping & tax. As I mentioned, I think I paid around £30 all in due to the deal so I’d definitely recommend waiting and doing that if you can as they always have some kind of offer floating around.

Do I think it’s worth the money though? For me, definitely! I get such a confidence boost when I wear this foundation as it just gives me the skin i’ve always wanted. My real love is just how light it feels on the skin and the fact that it really does wear well throughout the day. The only thing I wish I’d done is buy a slightly darker shade as i’ve been wearing a shade or two darker in some foundations recently and I’ve found it’s been blending with my body much better. It’s still going to be completely perfect for winter though so I’m dying to get back into using it daily. If you’re interested, the shade I picked up was Fair Neutral and it is a really nice shade when I have zero tan. They have a fantastic 21 shades in the range though, spanning from very light to very dark so I think they’ve done a really good job in making it accessible for all!

Have you tried this foundation? What did you think of it?

Much Love

xoxo

 

August Empties 2017

Oh my god, how on earth is it now September?! I am literally in shock as to how fast this year is going. This month I start my new full-time job, so there’s a lot of changes going on over here. I’m planning to try and write lots of posts in advance so there’s still plenty of content, but if it goes a little quiet from time to time, you know why! Throughout August, I seemed to accumulate a few empties and in order to prevent huge overflowing boxes at the end of next month, I thought we’d get back to monthly ones!

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I hate doing my hair so hair empties tend to be few and far between, however this month there are two! Wow. The first is the the Kérastase Nutritive Bain Satin 1 Shampoo. I love the Kérastase shampoos and this one was no different, but my hair requires the next level up (Bain Satin 2) so if I were to pick up another bottle, I would change it to that one. They lather up well and smell gorgeous and keep my hair squeaky clean! The second hair product was a little tub of the Schwarzkopf Brazil Nut Oil Pulp Treatment Mask. This says it was for all hair types, but to be honest I think my hair needs products specifically for thick, dry and unruly hair. Although I didn’t mind this mask, it wasn’t nourishing enough really and it also had tiny little bits of Brazil Nuts in which made me think of an exfoliator. Very strange! I’d probably give this a miss in the future.

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A little sparse on the makeup front this month with only one product being finished up. I am quite sad to see it go though as it was the Lancôme Grandiôse Mascara which I’ve written a full review of here. I LOVE Lancôme mascaras and this kept on ticking all of the boxes for me. I don’t usually opt for a plastic wand but this one was brilliant and did such a good job on my lashes. A repurchase may be in order in the future.

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A few body products were finished up this month but they are either repeats that I keep on using or things I’ve already talked about in depth. The Australian Bodycare Tea Tree Skin Wash* has its own post here and as I mentioned in the post, it was a very watery consistency so I finished it quicker than I would have liked. I loved the scent though so would consider repurchasing. The next item is the Body Shop Spiced Apple Shower Gel and I’ve gone through a fair few of these over the last year. I’m finally on to my last bottle so I can’t wait for it to come back for the festive season although there is an AMAZING Autumnal scent coming out that I am going to buy tonnes of! Finally is the Nivea Pearl & Beauty Deodorant which I’ve had a few times. I like the scent of this but over the course of the day I don’t find it’s as fresh as my trusty Dove stick. I’m going to keep to Dove again unless Mum picks more up with the weekly shop.

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I’ve been trying to use up travel sizes this month as I have them coming out of my ears. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen that I got a 5ml pot of the Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm after wanting to try it for ages. I’m both happy and sad to say that I didn’t like it. Happy because it’s flipping expensive and I have not got the funds for that regularly. Sad because it’s so hyped and i’ve been desperate to get my hands on it for a while. Needless to say I won’t be purchasing the full size. Next up was the Lancôme Hydra Zen Night Cream* which was featured in my latest skincare post here. I really loved this cream and it worked so so well for my skin at night time. I’ve missed not using it to be honest. However, it is over £40 and, as previously mentioned, I’ve not got that much free cash until I start my job and cannot be blowing what I do have on that for now. Maybe out of my first pay packet, but in the meantime i’ll just mope about it.

I also have the Pixi x Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse in here despite the fact it’s not actually empty. I think I bought a dud tub as it wen off very very quickly (3 months). I did have a whole ranting post about this in drafts but after speaking to Pixi, who were very apologetic, professional and accommodating, I don’t think it’s fair when this was clearly an accident. They replaced the item with some other things I wanted to try and we really great about it. I didn’t love the product anyway and I feel there are better cleansers out there but the fact it was definitely off really sealed the deal on whether I was going to finish or not.

Eagle eyes on my Facebook page may have noticed the Clinique offer I posted about a while ago, where you got lots of free goodies. One of the things I tried was the Smart Custom Repair Serum and I really really loved it. Since doing a little stint on my local Clinique counter i’ve found out more about this product and it’s made me like it even more. The reason it’s ‘Smart’ is because it tailor makes it’s effectiveness to what your skin needs. I really loved using it and have again, been missing it in my routine. Finally, I’ve finished up my Evolve Beauty Radiant Glow Mask* that I always rave on about. It smells of chocolate and feels like such a treat when you use it. Again, I’m sorry that it’s finished with and I hope to get it again some time! But first… finish up the other mountain of face masks I own!!

There we have it, all done for this month. There’s already a few things in the box for next month so it could be another good one for empties! What have you finished up this month? Let me know in the comments!

Much Love

xoxo

*PR Items

Book Review| Death Plays A Part by Vivian Conroy

As I’m sure you all know by now, I love to read! So when I saw that the lovely Vivian (@VivWrites on Twitter) had a new book out, I had to give it a read. We’ve been following each other for a while and are regularly in ‘twitter contact’, so when she announced it was available for preorder I disappeared off to Amazon to buy myself a copy. Whilst on holiday, it was delivered to my kindle on release day and it was time to see what Viv was made of!

The genre and general theme of the story reminds me a lot of reading Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books when I was younger but with a slightly more adult and modern feel to it. It’s an easy to read whodunnit style novel that honestly had me guessing who the culprit was right until the second that it was revealed. I hate it when I can predict the outcome from the start so Viv was onto a winner here for me as I honestly didn’t have a clue! The actual theme of the book was a new one for me as it was a ‘closed door mystery’, which basically means that the crime involved was basically committed under near impossible circumstances. I found this to be a really interesting twist as it let Vivian get creative with the plot of the story, with plenty of twists and turns! It’s safe to say that she could come up with some ingenious ways to bump somebody off should she wish so I’m planning to stay on her good side!

As with all of these style books, there is of course a wonderful heroine who helps to puzzle it all out and this time it was Guinevere and her little Dachshund Dolly who were there to save the day. I did fall a little in love with these two as they were such a sweet pairing and just gave the book such a lovely feel to it. As a die hard dog mum myself, I felt the connection between the two of them and I loved the inclusion of a little furry pal! I did find that each individual character had a particular ‘voice’ throughout and they were each very unique which I liked. Viv has done a great job setting them all apart and making them each pinnacle components of the plot.

The final thing I loved about the book was the setting and how descriptive she was when referring to it. The book is set on a fictional island, Cornisea, off the coast of Cornwall. It really made me want to head down to the south coast and discover some hidden islands and castles as I believe I was only 2 when I last went to Cornwall so I’d love to see what it has to offer. Saying that, I felt like Viv had really transported me there through ‘Death Plays A Part’ and all the tiny side streets and little cafes were like they were from my own memory.

I just want to take the time to congratulate Vivian on such a lovely book, she’s done such a great job with everything from the plot to the scenery and I can’t wait to read book two, Rubies In The Roses. If you fancy reading Death Plays A Part, then you can do so by ordering  for the tiny price of 99p from Amazon here. If like me, you’re intrigued by the second book already, then that came out a couple of days ago and is available from Amazon here.

Much Love

xoxo

 

 

The New Setting Spray On The Block?| Rimmel #Insta Fix & Go Spray!

If you’d asked me a year ago whether I used a setting spray, the answer would have been a big fat no. What on earth could spritzing ‘over-priced water’ on top of my makeup do to benefit me really? Well, I was wrong. I now use a setting spray every day and I’m always on the hunt for new ones to try, be it from high end brands or brands available in Boots. With all that being said, it’s safe to say that when Rimmel London came out with their new setting spray, I was very eager to get my hands on it to see if stood up to some of my favourites.

In terms of the packaging first of all, I think it’s okay. It doesn’t wow me and jump off the shelf saying ‘buy me’ nor does it put me off. Yes Rimmel is a more affordable brand so their packaging is a little cheaper so it never bothered me in the slightest. They are by far my favourite drugstore brand so I’d rather buy them for the quality than the packaging. However, the packaging contributes to my biggest gripe about this product, the spritz. The spritzer on this bottle is one of the worst i’ve come across and I actually tweeted Rimmel to see if I had picked up a dud, but sadly they failed to reply. Setting sprays need to be a fine mist, or at the very least a mist of some description. However, this one fires out in one direct stream and hits you straight in the face! Imagine the setting spray equivalent of a hose being used on the ‘jet’ setting.

Needless to say, we kind of fell at the first hurdle as I couldn’t use the product to properly try it out. So, when my last Urban Decay All Nighter bottle finished, I thought i’d put it to good use and empty the Rimmel spray into the bottle so I could at least try it out better! I’ve since been using it with a fully working spritzer in a couple of my Urban Decay bottles and I’ve thankfully been able to test out it’s ability to set makeup rather than simply it’s ability to blind me.

There’s one more issue with this product for me though sadly, again before we even get onto it’s effectiveness, and that’s the scent. I despise anything that smells of cucumber and this is one of the strongest cucumber scents i’ve ever experienced. So much so that I used it the other day and Tom asked from across the room where the cucumber scent was coming from. It is very overpowering and does linger a little on the skin although thankfully not for too long!

Finally, onto the actual product and overall it is a nice setting spray. It sits nicely on top of my makeup without making it go funny, its lightweight and refreshing and seems to do a pretty good job at keeping it in place all day. Naturally, these are all the things I look for in a setting spray and at only £6.99 it is a real bargain too! It’s also meant to be double use so you can use it as a primer too which is a real plus. I’m just so disappointed at the scent and the terrible spritzer. The scent is a preference thing and I know that most people like cucumber scents so I may be outnumbered there, but one key thing to get right with setting sprays is the spritzer. I did do some research and a lot of people rave about it being such a ‘fine mist’ so maybe I DID get a dud.

For me, the scent alone puts me off buying it again, however, had it been a different scent and just the spritzer that was the issue, I would potentially buy it again and decant it as the product inside is pretty good. As I say, I’m a HUGE Rimmel London fan so I was sad that this wasn’t an instant win for me but I guess not everything is going to work for you every time. Have you tried the Insta Fix & Go Spray? If so what did you think of it?

Much Love

xoxo

The Travel Diaries |Norfolk June/July 2017 – An Entirely Dog-Friendly Guide!

Back towards the end of June, Tom, JJ and I headed off for a week long trip to Norfolk rather than jetting off to Europe like we usually do. Our main reasoning was that we hadn’t really done a UK holiday together before and also that we HATE leaving little J behind. Laden with bags, we packed up my car for the 3 hour journey and headed off to the East Coast! If this sounds a little familiar, I did write a post over on Steph’s blog as part of her guest blogger series, so if you fancy a more straight to the point version of events, then click here. This post aims to go into a lot more detail of where we went and has lots of extra pictures!

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The gorgeous guesthouse was actually owned by Holkham Estate!

In terms of accommodation, travelling with a dog can restrict you slightly as not everyone fancies a layer of dog hair being left when you leave. However, Norfolk is a county of dog lovers and we found an absolutely wonderful place in the seaside town of Wells-Next-The-Sea, somewhere I had actually visited many moons ago and loved. We stayed in the Manor Farm Guesthouse run by a wonderful couple called Jim & Annette who actually had two dogs of their own, Rolo & Summer.

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Summer & Rolo very quickly sussed we kept treats in our room!

I think on average it cost us £78 per night for the three of us, including a delicious breakfast every morning. We were in the smallest room called The Snug, which was a little out building but that suited us perfectly as JJ had full access to the garden at all times. It was really cosy and JJ was made as welcome as we were, he was even allowed in for breakfast with us which was a lovely touch! The location was no more than 40 minutes drive from everything we wanted to see and I don’t think we could recommend it any more! If we head back to Norfolk, we will most definitely be staying at Manor Farm again!

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J’s first experience of sand!

So after arriving mid afternoon, we all had a bit of a doze before heading on a little walk to find some food and let J stretch his legs. We made it all the way down to the beach front (quite some walk I’ll have you know!) and let JJ get his first experience of the beach. It was absolutely adorable and it’s safe to say he LOVED it! On our way back to the B&B we stopped off at The Globe Inn which is a lovely, dog friendly pub. To be honest, the majority of the places we went to eat were dog-friendly gastropubs as it seems that Norfolk do those very very well! Tired after the long journey, we headed to bed so we could get up nice and fresh to enjoy our first full day.

DAY ONE

IMG_3193.jpgHaving decided we were going to make up what we were doing each day as we were going along, we decided to pay a visit to Holkham Hall as it had a lovely dog friendly walk! It was really beautiful and the café at the end was incredible! I totally recommend the Victoria Sponge!! Dogs can’t actually go into the hall but you can really get a nice feel for it from the outside regardless. There are deer roaming the park and there are some absolutely stunning photography spots all the way around.

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Did you say field of wheat Theresa?

There’s a lovely walled garden too but we didn’t head in as we had JJ (who likes to be as free range as he can and would probably wee up the flowers) but I think you could take dogs in regardless.

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The tiredness was beating him.

The gift shop was pretty incredible too and I could have spent a hell of a lot of money in there! We actually bought JJ a handmade leather dog collar and a hook to pop it up in our new house (when we have saved up enough deposit to buy one that is!). About lunch time, the heavens opened and unfortunately the weather set in for the rest of the day so we drove back to the B&B to have another little snooze. IMG_3189.jpgWith the weather being pretty damn rubbish that night, we didn’t want to stray far so headed to the nearby Crown Inn for some tea. This was our favourite place we ate at during our stay and it also had it’s own menu dedicated to gin. I was sold.

DAY TWO

The next day was sadly another total wash out with the weather being the typical UK summer offering. Tom got a right earful that day from me as he was the one that suggested the UK holiday. Sorry Tom. Movies were watched, chocolate was eaten and JJ slept off some of his exhaustion from the fun of the previous few days. In the evening we tried a pub by the harbour called The Golden Fleece which was nice but we definitely ate at better places during our stay. It was a much more lively pub, clearly popular with the locals and was pretty packed. I would say that the food was okay for the price, but as I say, we had better!

DAY THREE

Hallelujah, day three brought much better weather! Unsure as to whether it would last, we really made the most of it and crammed our day full of things to do! We started off  a little off the beaten path at the ruins of Baconsthorpe Castle!

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Smug J and his castle.

It was actually free to go and was very pretty to see. It would only take you a quick half an hour but if you’re in the area it’s very instagram-worthy! We even found a tiny baby bird whilst we were there and JJ loved playing king of the castle! From there we carried on to Holt Country Park so JJ could have a nice long walk! It’s probably only something to do if you want to walk a dog but we enjoyed it all the same, despite getting lost and wandering off the path into the literal middle of nowhere. IMG_3195.jpg

Back in the car again and we wanted to see some proper British seaside fun and Cromer seemed to tick all those boxes. The weather was a little grey, but warm and we got to wander around the town, eat chips and ice creams sat on a wall and even take JJ down the pier. Unfortunately, at high season, dogs aren’t allowed on the beach, but having spent lots of time on Wells beach, we weren’t too fussed.

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J gets his resting bitch face from his Daddy.

With JJ barely keeping his tiny little eyes open, we headed back in the car to drive through some villages we wanted to see before dropping him off at the B&B and heading back to our favourite, the Crown Inn, for some much deserved dinner and wine!

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Not cool Mum, you’re crushing me.

DAY FOUR

Having heard many good things about Old Hunstanton beach, Friday morning meant a trip there and oh my goodness, it’s beautiful. IMG_3198.jpgBeing a midlander, we don’t see long stretches of beach that often and we all loved it. JJ got to play and run and dabble in the sea and we just soaked up the fresh sea air. Regardless of whether you’re taking the dog for a walk or not, make sure you take a trip here as it’s gorgeous!IMG_3201.JPG I’m sure you can see from the pictures, how happy JJ was and that just made me melt a little inside! We also bumped into a couple with 3 Jugs (JJ is a Jug – Jack Russell x Pug FYI!) and that was great as you really don’t see too many of them surprisingly. IMG_3199.jpg

The evening brought a little bit of amusement to us when we’d booked a table at the proper local pub, The Bowling Green. Strolling in at our designated time of 7.45pm we were surprised to find it quite rowdy and everyone dressed in black. We were also the only ones seated at a table and definitely looked like outcasts. It was incredibly noisy in there and Tom and I were shouting to hear each other. A little while later, a waitress came up to take our order and apologised for the noise and gave us a free round of drinks AND a bottle of wine. To cut a long story short, the pub had been booked out for a 90 year olds funeral and they’d over stayed their welcome, meaning that we were the only other ones there! I dread to think what it must have been like if they got together for a happy occasion as I’ve never seen such a loud and rowdy funeral in my life! Needless to say the free drinks got us quite jolly and we went back to the B&B laughing and stumbling about the fact we’d crashed a funeral.

DAY FIVE

On Saturday, the weather was simply gorgeous and really really hot. We headed to the harbour to do the traditional tourist activity of crabbing, much to my delight. Well, when I say we, I mean I engaged and Tom sat as far as way as possible with his resting bitch face. Oh what a regular occurrence this is from the cheery other half. I successfully caught 40 crabs in one hour and gathered quite a crowd of onlookers. Fearing I was going to get sun burnt, I threw them all back into the water and we nipped back to the B&B before heading out in the car again.IMG_3203.jpg

One thing Tom was desperate to do was to go to the Queens Sandringham Estate. Although dogs aren’t allowed in the actual grounds, there’s a fantastic country park as part of the estate that goes on for miles and miles as we soon found out.  IMG_3204.jpgJJ had an absolute whale of a time and we must have done at least 5 or 6 miles before coming back to have an ice cream made in their own creamery and apple juice pressed from the Queens own apple trees! It was such a wonderful afternoon and the estate is beautiful!IMG_3205.jpg On our way home, we stopped in a nearby village of Thornham to try out a lovely looking pub called The Orange Tree. The food was amazing and definitely more like high end restaurant style cuisine than pub grub. Sadly we had to shovel it in pretty quickly as JJ was being a pain in the bum as he was so tired. I’d totally recommend it though if you’re in the area! IMG_3206.jpg

DAY SIX

Our final day and I think it was safe to say that we were all sad that the holiday was coming to an end. We’d had such a lovely time exploring the area and I really would have liked to have stayed even longer. We simply took JJ back to spend time at Wells beach and enjoyed the glorious weather, eating ice creams and sweets by the harbour and just generally enjoying ourselves. We had to pay a visit to our old fave The Crown Inn one last time, but we opted for Sunday Lunch this time and, after three courses, rolled our way back to the B&B for the last time.

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Norfolk or Spain?

We had the most amazing week in Norfolk and made so many lovely memories. I really hoped you liked this post and that it helps if you’re planning to take your own pampered pooch on a holiday in the area. We found everyone to be incredibly welcoming of all three of us and that nothing was too much trouble at all. I would 100% go back again in the future and despite having one bad weather day, we were generally pretty lucky! If you have any other suggestions as to where to go or what to see in Norfolk, then please leave them in the comments!

Much Love

xoxo